Cedar saunas are the most popular and most practical saunas in use today. The wood is incomparable for its quality and durability, and the pleasant aroma is the one that most people associate with saunas. Because of its beautiful color, fine-grained texture, and long-lasting properties, cedar is the ideal wood for building your own sauna - indoors and outdoors.
Cedar saunas are built largely from the wood of the Western Red Cedar which grows in coastal forests ranging from British Columbia to Washington and Oregon. These are environmentally friendly and managed forests, and the harvests are carefully controlled so that reforestation programs can keep pace with demand for cedar wood.
Cedar wood is chosen for sauna use because the cellular structure of cedar wood offers excellent heat insulation qualities. It’s also free of pitch and resin and can be finished to a beautiful uniform surface in warm colors including clear amber, reddish cinnamons and rich sienna browns. Carpenters will tell you it’s an easy wood to work with and it even exceeds fire regulations. But that’s not all. Cedar saunas offer these advantages:
Because of the extremely high and dry temperatures found in saunas, the wood material is subject to a lot of abuse. Cedar is a low density wood that can handle the hot air of the sauna, yet the benches are cool enough to sit on.
You can tell cedar by its unique aroma which can be described as balsamic and woody. That aroma, in fact, is what makes cedar a popular choice for storage chests and closet liners. It comes from naturally occurring organic compounds in its heartwood called thujaplicins that emit a pleasant aroma to humans but which are toxic to fungi, insects, moths and other wood pests.
Most people find cedar’s fragrance to be relaxing and meditative, but some individuals with wood allergies don’t tolerate the oils in the wood well and must avoid this type of sauna. But other than that, there’s no reason not to choose cedar as it is a completely safe wood and offers amazing benefits that other woods just can’t compare to. It’s not hard to see why cedar saunas are the perfect choice to install in your home or yard.